Vatican calls on Bishops to prevent Eucharistic abuse in their dioceses

Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration Marie Jona Yoo pours batter on a hot plate used to bake low-gluten altar breads

Until recently, it was certain religious communities that baked the unleavened bread and made the wine for the celebration of the Eucharist during Catholic masses.

The new rules are needed because the bread is now sold in supermarkets and on the internet, the cardinal said.

The letter also added that gluten-free bread is not appropriate for the Eucharist, although exceptions could be made for sufferers of coeliac disease.

Gluten has become verboten in some circles, but there is no way around it for Catholics receiving Holy Communion; a recent church directive emphatically states that the wafer known as the host must contain gluten.

The ban comes from a letter to Catholic bishops worldwide, published Saturday by Vatican Radio.

The body of Christ is definitely not gluten-free! In 2003, the church ruled that the bread used should contain a "small quantity" of gluten.

The Vatican says communion wafers known as the host must contain gluten
View Slideshow The Vatican says communion wafers known as the host must contain gluten. Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

The congregation underlined that every bishop "is bound to remind priests, especially parish priests and rectors of churches, of their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration and the worthiness of the material". They were also responsible with producing the wine for the same ritual. The Congregation adds, however, that the hosts which are partially private - in the limit where the level of gluten is not low enough to require the addition of foreign material to the making of bread, are valid, where, " for various serious reasons", the faithful are not able to absorb bread normally cooked.

"Mustum, which is grape juice that is either fresh or preserved by methods that suspend its fermentation without altering its nature (for example, freezing), is valid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist" (A. 3).

Everyone's favorite "cool Pope" isn't down with every new trend: if you're gluten-free, communion will continue to be hard for you.

Communion is a holy ritual, and it shouldn't be stained with impure bread. "Such permission, once granted, stands for as long as the condition persists which occasioned the request for the original permission".

In the Vatican's defence, Christians believe the bread and wine you receive at Holy Communion undergoes something called 'Transubstantiation'.



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